Does Houston, Tx (Harris County) respect domestic partnerships? What does that involve?
I am trying to get health benefits from my girlfriends company without getting married (not a big fan of marriage). However, her company will give me benefits if we become domestic partners. We just aren't really sure what all that entails. In other words, how does it affect her tax forms or my tax forms etc. Are there any other worries we need to take into account before applying for domestic partnership? Or is it just as simple as it sounds? We just don't want this to turn around and bite us during tax season or something.
Some additional details: We are both older that 25yrs old. She has a kid but i do not (not sure if that matters). I will be full time school and part time work. She will be full time work. We do live together and are a serious couple. We both reside in Harris County (Katy, Tx).
Please only answer if you have some experience in this matter, a lawyer, an accountant familiar with the area, etc. Also if you could please shoot a link to a source to verify any information you provide.
Thanks in advance for anyone that's willing to take time out of their day to help answer my question. I truly am appreciative and grateful.
- Bostonian In MOLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
Most county clerks will record various agreements upon request. Texas does not have a pro-forma for RDPs, so you would have to have it drawn up -- preferably by an attorney after each consulting with your OWN attorneys -- and the Harris County Recorder's office could record it as a matter of public record. Would they, is another matter entirely.
The State of Texas does not recognize the concept of registered domestic partnerships, either same sex or opposite sex, and leaves it to each county to decide. As far as I can tell, only Travis County (Austin, Lakeway and Lago Vista -- filthy liberals) formally recognizes RDPs.
The only other option anywhere else in TX that has any legal meaning would be to declare yourselves a common law married couple and file that declaration with Harris County. TX does recognize common law marriages but requires that they are recorded by the county recorder in order to avoid any "surprise" or unintentional common law marriages.
From a federal income tax perspective, an RDP is meaningless. Your income tax filing status would not change.
What would be affected would be the tax free status of any health insurance premiums paid for your coverage. Unless you are your g/f's dependent for federal tax purposes, any company contribution towards your coverage is taxable income to her. Also, any premiums that she pays for your coverage cannot be excluded from her taxable income. So basically the entire cost of your health insurance becomes taxable income to her.
To be claimed as her dependent on her return requires that your gross income is less than the personal exemption amount ($3,900 for 2013), you reside in her home for the entire year, and she provides more than half of your total support for the year. There must also not be any laws or ordinances that bar cohabitation of unmarried persons, even if such laws or ordinances are unenforced.
- troLv 76 years ago
first of all one thing that needs to be considered altho I am not aware of any states that do anything about living together as unmarried people--some states this is not legal and when it isn't legal in that state it isn't legal for IRS
then if your state has passed a law for domestic partners, legally you are married without the papers, license etc to make it so but you need to be registered with the state as such to be able to do so
this means you are allowed to file married jointly and the same applies in all ways
if you are not a fan of marriage then you don't want to be domestic partners either
- 6 years ago
Being "common law married" goes a long way.